Nevada lawmakers pushing for tighter gun restrictions

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Governor Steve Sisolak and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto say they are supporting expanding federal background checks on all firearm sales. But some gun store owners and enthusiasts say this is not the right method to increase safety in our communities.

“We are closing those gun loopholes. Right now you want to make sure that if you buy on the internet, you go to a gun show, you buy from a private seller, that there is some sort of background check, that's all we're doing,” says US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

She and 39 other senators are re-introducing the Background Check Expansion Act, expanding federal background checks on all firearm sales. The Senator adds, “The opportunity that we can save a life, we prevent future killings and mass shootings or reduce the violence... this is one way of going about it.”

Governor Sisolak in his recent State of the State Address said, “It's long past time we listen to the voters and enact these changes, because background checks save lives.”

“There's nothing in that law that would make us any safer. To actually have that law in effect, you would have to have 100-percent of every firearm in the country registered, so that you knew who had what, before it was actually transferred.," says Jerome Hawkins. He works at Reno Guns and Range and disagrees with these lawmakers.

Hawkins's point of view is that this new bill would put more restrictions on the people already following the law, adding, “Criminals generally don't obtain their firearms by legal means; they obtain them either through crimes or burglaries, as we've seen here in Reno. They obtain them through the black market.”

No one disagrees about the need to keep guns away from felons or those with mental or behavioral issues. But it is definitely a difficult subject in a state that values the rights of legal gun owners. Reno Guns and Range adds that with already close to 300 federal gun laws on the books, a new one would greatly increase the workload of gun shops and their staffs.

Senator Cortez Masto says this act has been introduced in Congress and now the focus is getting her Republican colleagues on board.